19 July 2012
My family wishes to thank the Patriot Guard for all they did for our family yesterday. The following words are those of my brother.
The Patriot Guard Riders
Theirs is a simple mission. Their existence is bound by faith in one belief. To these men and women, respect is a way of life, not just a word used in conversation. Their hope is that they can help to bring peace. They are not armed, and they will only present themselves by invitation. These are the Patriot Guard Riders, and today they showed the utmost respect, honor and... dignity as they rode alongside my uncle on the journey to his final resting place. Honoring him, protecting him, and respecting his family’s right to grieve.
They came at the request of our family. Not just two or three people showing support for one man. Rather, they came in a group some 30 members strong. They weren’t paid for their service. All who came donated their time in order to pay respect to the memories of a man who served his country with pride. To respect and honor this man who, from that very first day in the late 1960’s until his death this past week, had always been a Marine.
They arrived today before our family, and formed a line in front of the funeral home. Each member stood silently at attention, holding in their possession an item far stronger than any weapon. This was an American Flag. As the family came, car by car, these men and women
stood fast, guarding the entrance to the service. They didn’t complain, even though the heat was tremendous. Their silent message was felt by all who passed through the doors. It was a message of comfort and security. This was a message that my family will never forget.
When the time came, these men and women mounted their motorcycles and formed a diamond around the hearse carrying my uncle’s body. As they escorted him to his final resting place, their American flags flew brilliantly behind them. For all who saw us along this route, there
was no mistaking that a military hero was making his final trip home. The Patriot Guard Riders protected our route, and when we arrived at the cemetery, they formed a circle around us, standing at attention and saluting my Uncle’s body as his coffin was laid down.
Theirs was a long day. A day in which they gave their time and service freely to a very grateful family. I personally thanked as many as I could throughout the day, and in every case, I received the same response. To these wonderful men and women, this was an honor; a chance to extend their pride in America, and respect for those who serve us all. As this day draws to a close, my family wishes to thank these wonderful men and women for what they have done for us, and for my uncle. Many of the men and women of the Patriot Guard Riders who came out today didn’t know my family. They gave us hope and love, and lived up to one of their fundamental beliefs. They showed their respect. They showed that the fibers of America that bound our forefathers together are still strong, and are worthy of this family’s pride. GOD Bless them all
God Bless you all,
A proud Patriot Guard Rider